More than 30 000 volunteers involved in identification of tiny rare interstellar dust particle candidates collected by the Stardust mission
The NASA Stardust mission returned the first tiny samples of interstellar dust from beyond the borders of our solar system. This region is almost devoid of matter and the interstellar dust particles floating through our solar system are extremely rare and small. Finding a few micrometer sized particles in an aerogel collector required the assistance of >30,000 volunteers over a search period of about 6 years, before individual particles could be analysed. This citizen science effort provided the first direct and astonishing look at particle candidates that reached us from our cosmic neighborhood.